tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN March 22, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT
>> reporter: they say they are working together more effectively than a few months ago. the problem is to what level can you share intelligence and security information? the background to this is the immigration crisis. this migration crisis from syria and eiraq coming into europe. whether or not this type of thing is a symptom that people can travel around europe easily. this plays into huge political debate. here in the u.k., that is swelling up in the summer. we talk about an eu referendum. it is a very big subject. it plays into the heart of what it means to be european. >> if you are just tuning in, two explosions at the brussels airport. you can see the broken glass and ceiling tiles. we have been told that 13 have
been killed. 35 severely injured. we have spoken to eyewitnesss who heard the blast or saw hundreds of people rushing through security to get away from the departure lounge. there are reports of another attack, explosion at a subway, metro station. metro is closed. eurostar trains cancelled. all flights are cancelled in and out of brussels. >> we should say this appears to be coordinated attack. 8:00 a.m. outside of the brussels airport. one a suicide bomber. gunfire before that. an hour and a half later, the explosion in downtown brussels or near the eu buildings in brussels itself. >> still trying to confirm details of the gunfire before the actual explosions in the lounge. it can be chaotic in the minutes
of breaking news. nima elbagir is there. what do we know? we know fatalities. we have seen pictures of people coming out on stretchers. bring us up to speed, nima. >> reporter: we know we had confirmed sources of two explosions. local media reporting fatalities. eyewitnesss describe to us a heart breaking scene. glass everywhere. people stretchered out in really high numbers. dozens is how they are describing this. the count one eyewitness is between 20 and 30 he had seen. other passengers the other time describing to us how they were quickly evacuated as soon as they left planes. one witness said they had seen a number of grounded planes. we saw a grounded american airlines plane. i want to step out of shot so you get a sense of where we are.
this is where air traffic security is. you see the police officers standing there. this is the staging ground for police reinforcement of the emergency plan. police, motorcycle riders. i'll move back into shot. police and motorcycle riders and dozens of police cars stretching down that road moving in and out of the airport. the belgian interior minister announcing the threat level at its highest. threat level four. the second time since the second world war this has happened. the first in the aftermath of the paris attacks. we were here for that. the streets of belgium capital brussels emptied out. what they do in these instances, especially as miguel you were saying, so far the information we're getting appears to have been a series of incidents. we don't want to call it attacks
because we have not had confirmation. given the circumstance of the explosions, allows them to deploy soldiers on the streets and not to ask citizens to congregate and protect people from being soft targets or from being targeted in any public space. that is what the belgian authorities are doing now. clearing out the spaces and allowing the freedom of movement here. >> we do seem to be seeing hallmarks of attacks right now. you have been in the center of it for some time as you are there this morning. you have been there as belgian authorities have been searching for attackers in the paris attacks and those who supported
them. two bombs possibly going off at the airport in brussels. possibly gunfire before. an hour and a half later, around 9:30 a.m., another explosion at metro. it must feel as though brussels is under attack this morning. >> reporter: yes, i think there's no way around that. authorities are trying hard to manage the flow of information and trying hard to avoid panic. we are repeatedly been saying as yet we have no confirmation. what triggered this? we know there are explosions, but they have not confirmed this is a terror attack. there is no getting away from the fear. i have been receiving messages all morning from people heart broken watching this unfold in the center of their hometown. an extraordinarily difficult
time for belgians at the center of this. sense of confusion and sense of fear and worry and now this. it's an unrelenting few months. we have been coming back and for. every time we come here, why, how and when is this going to end? some messages have been so difficult to read. >> nima, the transit authority is closing all public transport in brussels. we know eu staff and workers have been told to stay home or stay where they are. we know this is is the center of european government. we know in the netherlands, they are tightening security. one is tightening border control, but tightening public transit. we know the frankfort airport beefing up security.
it goes on and on, nima, throughout europe, officials are trying to make people safe and trying to lockdown transportation systems. >> reporter: this has triggered a domino effect. before this incidents, authorities have been dispatching people to borders and interpol announcing the concern of attacks. since the capture of salah abdeslam, a sense of high alert and heightened vigilance not just here in belgium, but across europe. the belgian foreign minister warning on sunday they believe that salah abdeslam and the network around him was planning on a new network that formed around him. planning on carrying out new attacks. a sense since the capture of
salah abdeslam, a concern his capture would cause the ripple effect. the plans they may have had at the time. this is the back drop against which all this is unfolding. the back drop in which we are seeing this response from the other european nations. given how europe is connected, that is why the action is swift. brussels airport, a broad set up around it. they are trying to isolate the threat here and stop that domino effect. the domino effect of the fear as well. >> i want to bring in -- thank you, nima, for all of your help. stay on it. i know you will. i want to bring in serg who was at an eu commission meeting in the building above the subway station in molenbeek.
thank you for joining us. what did you feel this morning? what did you hear? where are you now? what are you saying? >> caller: right now, we had to evacuate the building. half an hour ago. police stepped up security perimeter. we are now 200 meters from the building. before that, we were in meeting and heard explosion nearby. we felt vibration. the building moved a bit. we went to window. people coming out of metro station. then we had to evacuate the building. >> tell us about the subway station. it is the maelbeek subway station. tell us where it is in central brussels.
>> caller: the metro station in maelbeek is close together. it is in the european quarter of brussels. >> mr. massart, at 9:20 a.m., how busy would that subway station have been? >> excuse me. >> how busy would that subway station have been? >> i cannot hear you. i'm sorry. >> we can hear the sirens behind you. i know it is very difficult. we will try to give you a moment until they pass. how busy at 9:20 in the morning would those subway stations have been? >> oh, many people, of course.
arriving and moving for work. a crowd was here, yes. >> you say you felt a vibration in the building. was it sustained? how long did it take? >> it was brief. one second maybe. just the explosion. >> now they closed down the subways and closed down eurostar. the airport is closed. belgian authorities are telling people to stay where you are. stay home. the european union staff told to stay where they or stay home. what are you seeing around you now, serge? >> we had to move quite far away from the building and we receive no more instructions from the police. we have been told the building would be closed all day.
that's news from my close one and i'll try to find is some way to get out of brussels. >> we're so glad you're okay. >> are you a resident of brussels and what does it feel like to have your city under attack today? >> caller: well, i do not live in brussels. i live far away. i was here. it's a shock. maybe we had nightmare in paris which is not far away. everybody knows it can happen. when it does happen, it is a shock. >> serge massart nice to hear your voice and you are okay. this is a long day. a nightmare in paris and now shock for knyou in brussels.
let's go back to london and max foster. we are watching as european airports are responding to tighten security. again, we do not have a cause for these explosions. we know they happened, max. >> reporter: they fit into the pattern of the worst-case scenario of what they are expecting next. targeting something iconic and brussels is that. home of the european commission. capital of europe. we have seen an attack, it seems by all evidence so far, although it is not fully confirmed on the airport and metro system and transport system basically ground to a halt. european commission on lockdown. staff told to stay home or not to move anywhere. we heard from downing street in london that the prime minister will host a top level of government emergency meeting to
have some sort of response in relation to brussels. in the meantime, over at heathrow airport, they increased police presence there. so certainly this is seen as a european threat. a global threat. this is not just an attack on brussels. >> if we still have the information, i want to bring up the picture of the real-time traffic of the airlines just after this happened. you can see the airlines turning around. you see the planes turning around headed to other areas of europe. max, if you have us -- you can see them in curly q style into approach in brussels and turn around to different airports. max, a cobra meeting in london, that is as high a meeting it gets for security officials across the u.k. they will be on conference call
with other european leaders and what is your sense of what is happening around europe? >> reporter: all i know there are plans in place to coordinate better than what happened in paris after the attacks. brussels and berlin and around europe. the government will coordinate. they will do in places like london is something for any sort of advice or intelligence which suggests there could be copycat incidents. certainly the head of counter terrorism in london, this may be it, some spectacular attack in multiple locations on a european city. they say it could be brussels, london, paris, anywhere. this is an attack on western lifestyle now. not the lone wolf radicalized online. it is all about the premise set
up in paris. a military style operation with trained attackers with a strategy. >> we know the main railway stations are closed in brussels. the eurostar trains will not arrive in brussels cssels today. we know the airlines have cancelled flights. in amsterdam and paris and frankfort, all of the terminals have plans in place to boost security. boosting security at the borders. the dutch military after the brussels attacks. the global markets are falling, max, no surprise. when you talk about an attack, which appears to be two explosions, potentially three, in the heart of the european
capital with all the international companies, that strikes to the core of europe and commerce. >> reporter: it does. you have been reporting on it more than me, christine. this insecurity around the world in terms of economics. not much positive. these shocks do go through the stock market. if you consider brussels airport there handles 23.5 million passengers a year. that was the figure for last year. 1.5 million in february. it is a major transit point as well. a lot of key figures through the airport. brussels is a european capital with a european commission having its home there as well. that knock-on effect will be severe. you will see delays throughout europe. particularly this time of day. it is morning, rush hour. just coming out of it. it would cause delays at a time when the skies are so congested.
also, eurostar, the train line from europe to brussels. that is closed at brussels. that will cause problems as well. if this was a terror attack, they want to cause disruption and they have it today. >> max, we are showing the live pictures of the maalbeek station where the explosion occurred. also this morning, during the rush hour in brussels. very close to eu institutions. >> right downtown brussels and about 20 minutes from the airport. from what we know as reports are coming in, two explosions, possibly one a suicide bomb at the brussels airport. happened at 8:00 a.m. one of the busiest times for the airport. as many as 13 people killed so far. 35 severely wounded according to
local media in brussels at the moment. about an hour and a half later at the maalbeek subway station, another explosion occurred. clearly this is a city that is wrestling with a possible multiple coordinated attacks this morning. the crisis center in the country telling people to stay where they. they have heightened security to the highest degree they can so they can bring in the military, says our nima elbagir on the ground there. they can keep people from gathering and going out to keep only security personnel on the ground there. and a full-on effort now really brussels' worst nightmare. something they say may happen. concerned this could happen and now it has happened. >> let's bring in josh rogin.
he was at the airport 24 hours ago. he said the anxiety because of what happened on the terror front in brussels this week. we have international stock markets falling. airports beefing up security. you have belgian authorities telling people to stay home. josh rogin, this is sadly the point of terror. >> yeah. let me give viewers context here. on friday, belgian authorities launched a number of anti-terror raid. captured salah abdeslam. immediately after the operations, there was a heightened sense of alert and concern among belgian security officials. we heard from the belgian foreign minister on sunday morning. he spoke to officials. he said more attacks were being planned. he said the network was active
and contained quote more than 30 individuals. many of whom had not been captured. he called on the international community to increase security and intelligence information sharing. there was an understanding this was far from over and there was a belief the cells in brussels, dormant, might be awakened especially in the city of molenbeek. there is an increased sense of concern. when i was at the airport 24 hours ago, the tension could be felt. nevertheless, the main terminal where the bombings occurred was largely unprotected despite some
added unformed security personnel who are heavily armed. the entrance to the airport terminal was not a point where people were getting checked. anyone, including i drove up to the main terminal, with relative ease. 15 minutes from downtown. you could walk into the main terminal and do whatever business. there was no mechanism to stop someone who wanted to commit an attack. a realization despite the most alert and prepared security personnel in europe being aware and looking for just such an attack. there were holes in the system that terrorists seem to exploit. >> you can protect the planes and gates and protect the areas
once people go through security. there is a bottleneck in the departure areas and arrival areas. that is always a concern as a soft target. i want to make clear, josh, you were just at this very building we are looking at now on air. >> that's right. >> the only departure area for domestic and international flights. describe to us what it is like to go through the building. how many people in that area? is it shopping malls? ca ca cafes? at 8:00 a.m., i assume it is a busy time in that airport. >> i arrived there 10:00 a.m. for my flight at noon. hundreds upon hundreds of people coming out of the airport. it was a busy and chaotic scene. security officials present, but
not checking every person in and out of the front door. some people were there dropping off loved ones. some were there dealing with airport personnel. some were dropping off luggage. it is what you would see during any busy rush hour. i can't to describe this accurately. a palpable tension. a realization that the threat level was high and you could feel it in the air. you could see it in the way that people were dealt with both when they were checking in to flights and questions and added bag checks. when i was on the way to brussels, there was also an added level of security. security delays. we had someone arrested on my flight. he was pulled off the flight for not following directions. the security personnel were not fooling around.
nevertheless, you know, it was clear to anyone passing through the airport, there were hundreds upon hundreds of people walking in and out all day long. no way to identify one or another who posed a specific threat. >> josh, thanks for that. i want to go back to nima. she is outside the airport. you are seeing forensic teams? tell us what you are seeing now. >> reporter: we are seeing more police reinforcements moving in. we showed you the police cars here earlier. we are at the staging ground for the response in the airport. we have seen them move to reinforce the emergency plan in the airport. police cars and ambulances and forensic teams have gone in. it gives you a sense of the situation is stabilized to the extent they feel they can move in the teams and try to figure out what triggered this.
what was at the heart of the incident. >> i do want to say there has been confusion if eurostar is running into brussels. it was reported early on it was shutdown. it sounds like they are comple e completely shutdown for brussels. nima, you are reporting they brought security to the highest level. level four there which would allow them to bring the military in. what do you expect? and clearly with what appears to be two coordinated attacks in the city at this point. possibly others out there. i take it this is not over by a long shot? >> reporter: even before this, what authorities were telling us was the capture of salah abdeslam shouldn't be seen as the end of the story if incidents are the end of the terrorist attack.
for a while that has been their concern. they had been warning people in belgium not to let down their guard. just because we captured the most wanted man this means that life here will, the pressure and tension and fear, will start to dissipate. that is the warning and message we have been getting. given what we experienced last time at level four, that is what we can expect. soldiers on the streets. the ability to ask civilians not to congregate or create soft targets. to allow the police and authorities that freedom to try to take control of the situation which is still unfolding here. to also take control of the investigation to stop potentially what else could be out there. as you and i and we all have been saying this morning, we must stress, authorities have yet to confirm, what triggered these incidents.
although this does have the hallmarks of the complex attack at this point. >> your caution is absolutely warranted here. authorities have not said what happened. it is our job to say what we can confirm and what we know is two explosions in the departure lobby lounge in brussels airport. we know and i talked to eyewitnesss who heard and seen an explosion in a subway station. we know public transportation in brussels has basically been shutdown. we are waiting for now, nima, is confirmation from authorities about whether it was a suicide bomb inside that airport. what kinds of explosive devices and who did it. >> reporter: absolutely. the response from the rest of europe gives you a sense of how they are treating this. many countries beefed up
security. this is to snip those links between europe and brussels in terms of ease of movement for whoever might be being sought by authorities and also contain the zone within which this is unfolding. you get a sense the rest of europe is responding quickly. the interior minister has to balance not sew further panic. this is a delicate balancing act. >> i know you have been doing a lot of reporting on the radic radicalization of individuals in brussels. you have been there in the post paris attack days. you have been reporting for us in recent days. what is your sense? they had arrests over the
weekend? how many people are they looking for? clearly this is not over. the city will be under a state of emergency for some time. how many people are possibly out there? are we talking in the tens? dozens? hundreds? >> reporter: what we understand from authorities, their sense of how big this network was was constantly evolving. they thought they were looking for possibly ten. by that, i mean the network around salah abdeslam in terms of the conspiracy that carried out and supported the paris attacks. they told us they had gotten hold of and actually had in their custody 30 people they believed were directly linked and part of the network. for authorities, this is mushrooming. that is separate to the new network they believe salah abdeslam was part of. they believe was trying to carry
out new attacks within belgium and possibly across the european mainland. even their perception is how big this is has really mushroomed in out days and weeks since the paris attacks. authorities have found it hard to give it a sense of how many they are searching for. they have over 200 active files they are looking in to give you a bit of context. over 200 active files. lin linked to the paris attacks and the networks. that is not taking into account the communities of those who have come forward. >> nima elbagir. it is 10:31 a.m. right now in brussels, belgium. 5:31 on the east coast here. just to get you up to speed on
breaking news this morning. two explosions in the departure lounge of the brussels airport. local authorities and affiliates and media are reporting fatalities and at least ten. maybe 13. >> 35 possibly wounded. >> we also know another explosion at a subway station after the initial two. authorities are not saying if this was terror. obviously that is a concern. that is why across europe, you are seeing a heavy police and military presence. you are seeing a disruption in brussels of the suspension of the subway service, rail service and confusion over when the eurostar trains are running in and out of belgium. i encourage anyone to carefully check whether you should even leave your home. command center in belgium saying
stay home. let's go to max foster. he is in london. we are starting to hear from other heads of state about the reaction will be. >> reporter: christine, on eurostar, they are confirming no trains are running to or two brussels. the brussels customers are advised to postpone and not come to the station. a top level cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister to consider a response and if britain should react and how they should support belgium. we are seeing all of the european nations working together. they now realize if it was a terror attack, it was brussels this time, but it could have been paris or berlin or another location. we have another key piece of information coming out. this is from the commission. all eu meetings have been canceled on premises and
outside. only staff with badges get into the buildings in brussels. that is not only significant because of the disruption to the european diplomacy, but also because there would be a will within the european commission not to be disrupted by any sort of attack if that's what it is. they don't want to see to be capitulating to the incidents. they had to today. that's with the security staff. >> i think difficult for them to think anything else given the timing of the two incidents. 8:00 a.m. busy time at the airport in brussels. the main airport northeast of the city. >> this is new video you are seeing of the aftermath here. >> an hour and a half later, attack at the subway station. this is at the airport. those are ceiling tiles that have come down after the
explosion. you see people with their suitcases trying to flee the area and get out of the area. you can also in some of the pictures and video see the kiosks. you see the kiosks if you were going to walk into the airport and check in, you go to one of those to get on. this is the main departure lounge before security. an area that airports across the world have been concerned with as a soft target. 8:00 a.m., two explosions. one possibly a suicide bomb. both bombs went off. 9:30 a.m., brussels time, a second bomb at a metro station. this time underneath an eu building. we spoke to somebody in that building earlier. he said he felt a vibration. in london, the prime minister will hold a cobra meeting. the highest meeting they hold for concerns of a terror strike
or for security purposes. what will happen at heathrow and other airports and other soft targets across europe this morning, max. >> reporter: the two main airports, gatwick and heathrow, increasing police presence. we don't think that is linked to intelligence. it is just a response they now have to these incidents which sadly preparing for. this does very much fit into that pattern. that's what they'll be considered at the cobra meeting today. is this a series of military style attacks on the major capital? it has repercussions for any capital. that is what they have been planning for since paris. that was, they feel, an attack on western ideals and lifestyle. that was the threat against the paris attacks. attacking people in bistros.
that was the frightening thing. it could be an attack on any other city. i will say if you look at the flights in and out of europe, pretty chaotic right now. all of the flights going into brussels, a major european airport, all diverted to amsterdam and heathrow. that is a knock on all flights. they cannot open the airport right now. they have to respond like this. >> even the metro. if you just arrived in brussels. you are having a hard time finding a way to get around the subway station. the rail system has been shutdown. this comes at a time when there is political argument over the free flow of people across borders in europe, max. that is something that has been a big and, you know, loud debate over the past year or so. now here you have this. you know, a strike at the heart
of air travel there. >> reporter: well, this is concern. europe within the eu and the shenzhen zone, you could move across borders without security checks. now the migrant crisis and huge amount of people and among those genuine refugees, possible terrorists. that is a real political debate. angela merkel facing it in the most public way in germany. she had recent elections where she did not get the support for her party she hoped for. that is seen as a reaction to the migrant crisis and the borders are open. perhaps some politicians on the fringes suggesting it makes us more vulnerable to attacks. there is, i have to say, counter argument here in the u.k., where we consider whether or not to leave the european union. being in the european union and
being part of the club that works closely together which is more secure. >> the shenzhen agreement and movement of people has been a big motivaativation for people moving. we spoke to one eyewitness in the airport. he had already gone through security. he said he did not hear the blast, but certainly felt its ramifications with hundreds of people running deeper into the terminal area. they were forced to evacuate over the tarmac to get out of the airport and set loose in the town. he is now on foot trying to get out of the area. a witness at the metro station saying he was above the metro
station in a meeting and he felt a vibration in the building. the metro station would have been busy at 9:30 in the morning. he has then left the building and on foot trying to get out. all reminiscent of 9/11 here and 7/11 in the u.k. a very concerning time for brussels this morning. >> reminiscent of boston when you had a major city shutdown in the wake of a bombing there. vrt, a local brussels, belgium broadcaster saying no one killed in the explosion in the train station. i want to go to nic robertson. you have been following the developments. still questions about what caused the explosion. the international reaction is an
assumption this is a coordinated attack, nic. >> reporter: that was the concern going into the weekend with the arrest of salah abdeslam on friday. it was clear after four months on the run, when he was arrested, if isis networks were going to have a reaction to it. they would try to put it into effect quickly. a number of reasons for that. concerns that once he was arrested that other members of the cell could be wrapped up. they would have a finite amount of time to wrap up. countries in europe would be concerned about the knock-on attacks from there. this weekend, undoubtedly, has been one of concern and now realizing the fact of the metro system in brussels has come under attack will not be a surprise to security authorities there. going back a decade or so, al
qaeda, at that time, plotting to hit the metro station. they have been on high levels of alert from the paris attacks. with the attacks in london in 2005, the concern of the metro being a target for this type of attack. the picture that emerges at the moment is one that appears to be at this stage, isis striking back quickly. does this mean it was hastily put together and other attacks not so likely to follow or does this mean it will activate other isis cells in other countries? david cameron is saying he is shocked to see this and concerned. we can understand all counter terrorism officials will be on very high alert today. >> nic robertson, thanks for that. i want to go back to the airport and nima elbagir. she started her morning in
molenbeek. the neighborhood that has been the hub of the terror investigation after the arrest of salah abdeslam four days ago. just four days ago. now in front of the airport where the two explosions rang out at 8:00. it is 10:42 local time now. nima, what is the cause of this? any official acknowledgment this is a terror investigation? >> reporter: the brussels prime minister, belgian prime minister has asked everybody to remain indoors. brussels essentially now in lockdown. they asked people to avoid travel throughout roads and remain in their homes. they are trying to limit potential for further injuries or further panic. this comes as they raise that threat level to four. that means now people have been
asked to stay indoors, it will give them the ability to deploy the army on the streets. deploy greater security forces and greater security presence. this is now the latest just in to us. brussels is now in lockdown. >> you are at the airport where security services are gathering at the airport. what is the scene there? does it feel like it's over or is it just getting started? >> reporter: here at the airport, it has been quiet. reinforcements and police and ambulances moving. we are around back at the air traffic security area. this is the staging ground for the authorities, ambulances and police officers. it has been calm and quiet. the sense i get that is very much the feeling that authorities here are trying to engender. the police cordoned was up
quickly. it's very broad. they kept people as far as possible from the departure building. we are not allowed to get closer. they have been trying to move traffic along and limit the potential for gridlock and panic as people end up sitting in their cars. it feels like the situation here is under control and much calmer than the sense that we were getting earlier, miguel. >> two hours ago. >> i want to ask, the people we spoken to, the eyewitnesss and people in the terminal were released over the tarmac and into the town. are you seeing people in the area perhaps with their bags trying to figure out where they go now? >> reporter: people really have been moved and corralled specifically through certain zones to try to limit that potential for panic. although this is the back of the airport, we are in a residential area. houses across the road from where i'm standing. it is clear the authorities are
trying to get the situation as orderly as possible. as they move people through, they're making sure they do that within a tightly cordoned line. the initial moments after the attack, the scenes we have been seeing, pictures we have been seeing on social media and descriptions from a witnesses, very, very panicked. very scary time. police have tried very much to enforce as much control and order. so much of the incidents comes down to the speed of the response. that is how authorities try and get the populous calmer and get people to listen to the instructions that are coming out. like stay indoors. i think you can hear more police coming in, miguel. a long queue of them. i'll step out of shot and we'll try to get it for you.
they're moving into the airport. we are seeing another coming into shot now. a long line of police cars, security officials. all heading toward the airport. to reinforce that zone around the departure, miguel. more police officers. more motorcycle out riders. we saw ambulances and forensic teams going into the airport earlier toward that departure hall area. >> nima, we know there were f l fatalities in the departure hall. we have the pictures of the ceiling tiles and fallen glass. maybe 13 fatalities. the reports are conflicting this morning. 35 severely injured. let's get to cnn's counter terrorism analyst and official philip mudd. phil, they have not told us this was a coordinated terror attack.
they have not told us what you see is the blast with the subway car at maalbeek was coordinated. it is 10:47 in brussels, belgium. this happened in an international city with international ties. there is a chase under way for potential suspects. what is happening on the investigation side? >> a couple of things happening. a police investigation that is securing the site. determining to find forensic material from the bombings. behind the scenes, this is the most frustrating time of the investigation. you will get a volume of incorrect information, erroneous information. also, the most important thing, you don't have details yet to allow you to open the investigation. the first question you will have, who are the suicide bombers? when i have them, i find e-mail,
phone, friends, apartments. in the hours to come, the investigation on the ground, the intelligence guys are saying i need a grain of sand to build the investigation. the frustration is the grains are really hard to sort through in the first hours. >> very hard to sort through. and what kind of international cooperation are you thinking is happening here? we are seeing a lot of security tightened at international airports. they must be learning lessons about how to work together to try to stop the flow of people across borders after something like this happens. >> lessons go out the window in circumstances like this. regardless of the rules, threat and dead people drive cooperation among security services. america or great britain or western europe, there are rules you operate under. in the case of eminent threat, you don't want to be sitting around tomorrow and say i failed to pass that piece of information because of a
regulation against it. security services, regardless of diplomatic cooperation or lack of cooperation will work together now because they can't afford to be in the day after saying i didn't pass that because a rule said i couldn't. >> phil, now there are reports of ten people dead in the metro station bombing in downtown brussels. you talk about the attacks. we have seen this for some time. this is the sort of thing terrorists want. we had 9/11 in the u.s. march 11th in madrid. on 7/7, i misspoke earlier and called it 7/11, the bus attacks. then the "charlie hebdo" and the paris attacks. now this. i take it this fits the hallmark of all of these attacks and what isis wants to do.
>> it does with one significant difference. this is in your face from isis. this is saying you followed us around for months and you could not stop us. not only could you not stop us, we attack the same targets we told you we will attack for years. that is iconic transportation targets. airports, metro stations. this is different than paris because isis and presumably followers in brussels are saying, you can never stop us. it is a message to the community and government of the brussels saying you better figure out a way to accommodate us. you will never stop us. >> phil, the belgian broadcaster rtbf, the belgian prosecutor is confirming the brussels blast was a suicide attack. you made a great point earlier that bombmaking materials, suicide vests. now the hunt for the explosives and where they came from. >> that's right. every one of the cases, you have
to step back and keep cool. one way to do that is to ensure, instead of looking at every strand of information, break it down into the elements. where did the money come from? where did the documents come from? where did the people come from? where did the explosives come from? those explosives are hard to find. whoever built the explosives is at the core of the plot. you have to breakdown the investigation and follow every thread so you don't step back. >> with the paris attackers, they found the explosives were tatp, which is fairly easy to make if you know what you are doing. they had a fairly high degree of sophistication of making vests and suicide bombing at the airport this morning. you talk about the fact this was in your face from isis. what hesitates to criticize the
belgian authorities, but it is hard to see it any other way. >> there is. there are two elemens. let's determine what the facts are first and the folks hiding in wait. i want to make sure we understand, for example, and this is difficult at the outset of the investigation. the difference between what we think and what we know. the first thing that goes out the window. are we sure the people are connected with the fellow just arrested salah abdeslam? is this isis? you have to look at this and presume it is. if it is, a lot of security professionals and there is a brotherhood of us who look back and say we have respect for you, but how did you miss this? this is significant. >> phil, stick with us. a lot of early reports. this has been a terrible morning for brussels. there are fatalities in that airport. there have been conflicting reports of fatalities in the maalbeek subway station. we know there are injuries and loss of life.
the reports of belgian prosecutor quoted in the belgian state media this was a suicide bomber at the airport. terrible morning for belgium. it is treated and internationalized as a terror attacks. we have not had official confirmation. a suicide vest from the belgian prosecutor leads you in that direction. let's go to nima elbagir on the back side of the airport. what can you tell us on this dark morning for belgium? >> reporter: we are now hearing from belgian media that at least ten were killed in the train station attack in maalbeek. we are working to confirm it. it is difficult to get a hold of security figures at the moment. a time of confusion and worry. already the dutch red cross has
set up a web site called iamsafe.org. you can check in and let your families know you are safe. people are reaching out. i have been receiving messages asking if i have seen other friends here. it is a real time of heart break and worry for those in the belgian capital and belgian prime minister is asking all brussels residents to stay indoors. this city is now essentially on lockdown. >> it's a very good point. i'm sure it will be for some time. there is new video coming out from the attack at the train station where we believe as many as ten people may have died. it shows emergency workers working on individuals who were clearly at the train station this morning on their way to work, on their way to home. getting on with their day on a
tuesday morning about 9:30 a.m. in brussels, belgium which turns into a triage area outside the train station. it was above an eu commission building. we spoke to one person in that building when the explosion went off. he said he felt a vibration in the building. >> let's go to richard. he saw the aftermath of the explosion. richard, are you on the phone? >> caller: i am. hello. >> this is christine and miguel at cnn in new york. we have been following the story for the past couple hours. what did you see at the subway station? what can you tell us? >> caller: i came after the explosion or explosions. maalbeek is very close to the european institutions. a few hundred meters down the road.
one long road that has european commission and european council. this is just down from the ambulances and fire and police basically cordoned off the area. we were behind that. >> mr. medic, you are dealing with this. i assume you live in brussels. brussels has been dealing with this since the paris attacks. what is the like to be in the city this morning this is on lockdown? >> caller: i think after the paris attacks we have been expecting something like this would happen. it was just a matter of time. and certainly we haven't changed our daily routines. i walk past the european commission every day to take may daughter to day care.
she's 2 years old. we saw soldiers with guns and heightened security and people checking badges a lot more than they used to. i think most people go about their daily routine. a place where a lot of internationals here working with european institutions. they talk about it, but they go on with their daily routine. >> richard medic, our best to you and your family. >> i hope you hugged your child a little harder when you dropped her off. >> thank you for talking with us about it. we will have "new day" pick up the coverage right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. this is cnn breaking news. all right. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day". we're covering a series of deadly explosions rocking
brussels. two blasts at the airport. another reported at the city's metro system. as always, we advise that early in a situation like this, the numbers of dead and injured are premature. here's what we can tell you. at least 13 people lost their lives at the airport. dozens badly engined. belgium on shutdown. ten people dead, chris, in nearby metro station. belgium raising its terror threat to the highest level. after the main suspect is captured in brussels. let's begin our coverage. what happened? >> hi, alisyn. as you can see, we're around the
back of the airport. this has become the staging arm for the reinforcements. police parked here and heading into the airport. the situation now appears calm. that wasn't the case an hour or so ago. eyewitnesses described some horrifying scenes, broken glass. people stretchered out past them. other media reporting they had gunfire, an exchange of words in arabic. we're working to pin that down. what we do know from authorities at this point is two explosions in the airports, explosions at a central train station, the maalbeek train station near the european commission. the highway underpasses, airport, all on lockdown. belgium is on lockdown